Sunday, February 22, 2015

Serge Lutens - Daim Blond (perfume review)

I haven't tried many leathers but became obsessed with the idea of finding a good one, which led me to my desire to try Daim Blond (among other things).  According to Aedes, Daim Blond was "Inspired by suede so fine, so soft, so barely perceptible to the touch, like skin on skin, an aura and sensation that intertwine to become one and the same."   Ooh, this sounds mysterious and sexy and warm and cozy...

Wait a second, where's the soft nude suede?? On me, Serge Lutens' Daim Blond opens up strongly with medicinal pencil shavings - camphor, band-aids, rubber, wood. It's cool but dry. Although it's not markedly strong, it feels rough.

photo from

Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Lab on Fire - What We Do in Paris is Secret (perfume review) + a kitty story.

I hope everyone had a lovely Valentine's Day! Mine was a little rough for a couple of kitty-related reasons, but the biggest one was related to Puff (the other I'll save for another post someday). 

Puff, my purely indoor kitty, stealthily escaped the house (unbeknownst to us) on one of our 2 trips out, and remained missing for at least 5 or 6 hours, if not more. In fact, we only realized he was gone because we bought a new cat condo and he didn't come out when we were rounding the kitties up to show them. After searching the house up and down for an hour or two we conceded to the idea that he must have gotten out. We searched the yard, drove around the neighborhood, posted signs, and visited the neighbors with no luck. All the while I watched the snow fall. I fretted, wondering how I was going to see a white cat in the snow, and worried about the falling temperatures - yesterday's low was supposed to be 5 and the wind has been howling all winter. (To be fair, Puff is built like an arctic kitty - covered in fur with tufted paws, so I was thankful for that.) Then I watched it get dark, wondering how I would see Puff in the dark. Every 20 minutes or so I went around to all of our doors and stepped out, calling out for Puff and shaking a treat bag, hoping he would come out. Finally, on my rounds around 7:30pm, I heard the faintest sound and I wasn't sure if it was a kitty or the children playing in the snow around the neighborhood but repeated callings revealed the tiniest of muffled meows, and I searched around the back deck where I found Puff huddled between storage baskets and the house siding. He wasn't there earlier, so I guess perhaps he had heard me calling and found his way back. Fortunately, he was found - a little dirty and hungry but safe and in my arms. So, today's review is dedicated to my sweet sweet Puff! 

fluffy Puff - a sweet gourmand kitty if there ever was one!
p.s. he has lost weight since I transitioned the kitties to a raw diet, so he's actually quite svelte now.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Parfums de Nicolai - Sacrebleu (perfume review)

I feel like I have been completely MIA - it's been a long couple of weeks! The extended and nuclear family has battled several colds and yucky stomach bugs, and somewhere in there I turned 32.  Yep, the big 3-2. :) And though I had fully intended to put several perfumed items on my birthday list, I just never got around to it - and to be honest - there weren't many fragrances that I *really* felt I needed to have. (Still thinking about getting a decant of Gold Leather, though). I guess I'm rather picky, which is delightful for my wallet but disappointing at the same time. 

But finally we're all feeling a bit better and I've resumed the search for some perfume loves. I'm turning attention back to my pile of samples that remained neglected while the family was under the weather. Yay!

I suppose it's not super helpful to review fragrances that are discontinued - but unfortunately I only have a sample of the discontinued Sacrebleu, and none of Sacrebleu Intense which is still currently available. I am curious how they differ.

On me, Sacrebleu opens up with a thick, syrupy sweet orange with an undercurrent of spice and maybe even a touch of anise. Alongside the sweet fruity melange, there is a thick and sweet almondy vanilla aura which gives it a slightly gourmand quality.  On me, however, there is an artificiality to the rich sweetness that lends it a little bit of a rubbery plastic vibe a few minutes into the opening. Overall, Sacrebleu feels plush and enveloping, and in my mind, distinctly golden orange in hue. Wearing it feels as if you're curled up in this chair on a chilly day.

photo from Horchow

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Montale - Aoud Velvet (perfume review)

Taking a break from the search for a Serge, I start my birthday week with a review of Montale's Aoud Velvet. This is my first experience with a Montale, and I only came across this sample because it was included in January's Olfactif set.

The opening of Aoud Velvet is tingly sharp, tart and sweet, like a mixture of deep cranberry and camphor. After a moment the sharpness recedes a bit, but the perfume maintains an energetic spicy kick. To me, the tartness and spiciness of the opening give Aoud Velvet a slightly fruity, jammy feeling. In that respect, Aoud Velvet it reminds me a bit of plum in Gold Leather (though I should really test them side by side to see if their scents are as comparable as their auras).

But be not deceived as the superstars of Aoud Velvet are not fruits but flowers. Ylang-ylang, tiare and orange blossom, according to the notes. Together, they're bright, creamy, sweet and lush. Anyone could expect that they would smell good together, and naturally they do. But in this case, it's really the oud that adds an entirely new dimension of beauty to these flowers. The spiciness of the oud cuts through their sweetness and turns an otherwise tropical floral into a dark, sensual and intoxicating perfume. 

When I take care to sniff my wrist closely, I can pick out the band-aidy oud note. Though my previous experience with oud wasn't the finest (I surmised at that point that I might hate oud, actually) - I can say with assurance that this oud *isn't* overwhelming within the context of the perfume. The medicinal sharpness of the oud acts as mediator between the sweet, tropical florals and the dry woody and vanilla base, and the whole concoction has a rich, balsamic feel without being too heavy. In the early stages, Aoud Velvet caresses the body like a cool, purple silk rather than a velvet.

photo stolen from a highly interesting (and inappropriate) post on